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IP/08/1099

Brussels, 3 July 2008

EU-Russia: first round of negotiations for the new Agreement

On 4 July, the negotiators of the European Commission and the Russian Federation will meet for a first round of talks on the new Agreement in Brussels. During this first meeting negotiators will focus on defining the overall scope of the negotiations, the agenda for the different areas to be covered, and establishing a calendar for the negotiations. The EU delegation is led by the head of the Directorate General for External Relations, Director General Eneko Landaburu. The Russian delegation is headed by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy commented: "Just a week after the political launch of these negotiations on the new Agreement in Khantiy-Mansiisk, the two negotiating teams are getting down working here in Brussels. Our aim is to achieve a comprehensive and substantive Agreement that will serve as the institutional and legal basis for our relations for a long time to come. The new agreement will help to unlock the full potential of this partnership, which is based on so many common interests".

The new Agreement will provide the legally binding framework for future co-operation between the EU and the Russian Federation, building on existing cooperation in the Four Common Spaces. It will underpin this strategic partnership by preparing the ground for stronger results-orientated political co-operation, deep economic integration, a level playing field for our energy relations, closer relations in the field of freedom, security, and justice, and the mutual opening of educational and scientific systems to.

Russia’s completion of its WTO accession process will open new perspectives for trading and economic relations with the EU.

Another important component of the new agreement will be the commitments both the EU and Russia have signed up to at international level, notably as members of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

After the conclusion of this round of negotiations, the main negotiators will brief the press on the record on Friday 4 July at 12:30. Journalists wanting to attend this briefing should please contact Christiane Hohmann (christiane.hohmann@ec.europa.eu).


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